See below for a current bio on each of our board members.
Laura Cassiday has been taking clinics and competing as an Amateur in Cowboy Dressage with her palomino quarter horse mare, Peaches (Bayou A Diamond), since 2015. Laura has a PhD in biochemistry and once conducted cancer research with a Nobel laureate, but now she works from home as a science writer. Laura has taken Cowboy Dressage clinics from Eitan Beth-Halachmy, Lyn Ringrose-Moe, Garn Walker, Martina Bone, Marcia Moore, and Nonny Largent, ridden in many shows, and attended Eitan’s School of Horsemanship with Peaches in Grass Valley, California. Laura has been an active volunteer with Cowboy Dressage World of Colorado since 2017, serving as Vice President from 2018-2019. She is a sixth-generation Colorado native and lives near Hudson with her husband and daughter.
Originally from Ohio, Danielle Bartos dabbled in hunter/jumpers and eventing before she fell in love with dressage. She competed through college, and then decided to take a step back to focus on learning and helping her soul horse develop and age gracefully. Danielle moved to Colorado in 2016 and changed her tack to match. Discovering Cowboy Dressage has inspired her to get back into the competition side of the sport and make new friends!
Kim Villamarin has been riding most of her life, participating in just about every discipline that is available, until she found Cowboy Dressage. Their motto, “When dressage fits your needs, but a Stetson fits your lifestyle,” appealed to her. Kim joined Cowboy Dressage of Colorado and subsequently the Board to help educate others on the principles of Cowboy Dressage and how good it is for your horse. Where else can you school a test during a show and not be looked down on? You are instead applauded for putting your horse first.
Barb Ford is a Colorado native that’s been horsing around for the last 44+ years. While Barb has mostly done trail riding and pleasure, she has also participated in 4-H, gymkhana, and some limited showing when she was young. Barb worked for a couple of summer seasons as a wrangler guiding trail rides in the Rocky Mountain National Forest in her late teens. Barb resides just a few miles outside of Keenesburg with her husband, two horses, two dogs, and four cats. Barb has been participating in Cowboy Dressage since 2016 and loves the philosophy of soft feel and obtaining better communication and partnership with her horses. The friendly, encouraging participants of Cowboy Dressage keep her engaged and coming back.
Lorae Merritt is married with two grown children and has lived in Colorado for over 25 years. She did 4-H with her daughter and was a horse project leader and secretary for the ADCO Horse Committee for almost 10 years. After her daughter graduated, Lorae began showing in Western Performance and Paint shows. She discovered Cowboy Dressage at the Horse Expo, and rode in her first show in May 2019. Lorae loves what the training had done for her and her horse, and she loves the people she has met. She is excited for what the next year will bring!